This post is originally published on yoursunny.com blog https://yoursunny.com/t/2021/WiFi-rename/
During an experiment, I need to use three WiFi interfaces on a Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu 20.04.
In addition to Raspberry Pi's internal WiFi interface, I added two USB WiFi adapters.
Three network interfaces showed up in the system (
ip link command), and they are named wlan0, wlan1, and wlan2 by default.
I often need to capture packets with
tcpdump, and I often have to be type these interface names manually.
It isn't easy to remember the purpose of each network interface, so I wanted to rename the interfaces to reflect their role in my application.
However, this isn't as easy as it sounds.
Ubuntu 20.04 configures network interfaces using Netplan, so my first thought was: I can write a Netplan configuration that matches network interfaces with their MAC addresses, and assigns the desired name to each network interface.
The config file would look like this:
network: version: 2 wifis: uplink: optional: true match: macaddress: ba:fe:de:f0:b9:e4 set-name: uplink access-points: home: password: rP8jKHJ64 dhcp4: true dhcp6: true accept-ra: true
However, this method would not work:
$ sudo netplan apply ERROR: uplink: networkd backend does not support wifi with match:, only by interface name
Many online guides refer to a file
/etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules, which is processed by udev during boot.
The file should have been created automatically by the system upon discovery of the network interfaces, and I just need to modify the interface names to the desired names.
However, this file does not exist in Ubuntu 20.04, so it's another dead end.
After carefully reading Debian's NetworkInterfaceNames guide, I found the correct way: systemd.link.
To rename WiFi interfaces, I can create a systemd configuration file for each network interface:
echo '[Match] MACAddress=ba:fe:de:f0:b9:e4 [Link] Name=uplink' | sudo tee /etc/systemd/network/10-uplink.link
After rebooting, the network interface is renamed to what I wanted.
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